Canceling Armageddon

by Barry
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Canceling Armageddon

Post by Barry » October 21st, 2009, 3:26 pm

Christ was on stage, sitting on a throne, being conducted by unseen hands. He was all dressed up in his finest of finery. He wore a splendid, shiny robe. Around his shoulders was a lion's mane, on his head, a crown of gold. In one hand he gripped a scepter of iron. The other grasped at a squirming, live lamb. Surrounding him on all sides were what could only be described as a host. Angels wings as far as the eye could see.
Just then the lamb wriggled free from his grip and dropped to the stage, skittered off, blowing the whole thing. "Fuck, I hate this," he thought. (He was perpetually thirteen.) "Armageddon," he spat inwardly. "All this preparation for the end of everything. All this appetite for destruction." His face momentarily wrinkled into a look of profound disgust. Then he resigned himself to his fate and just waited for it all to be over. There would be no getting out of it. Not with who his dad was. His only course had been set so long ago. The script had long been written. He was, after all, the star of the show. At the center of it all, his was the primary role. It all depended on him. On his performance. On how he did.
And he only sat there feeling nothing but contempt for the whole affair. His heart was not in it. He was fraught with dread.
It was not what he wanted to do.
He kept thinking about the last time. About how he had bungled things. He had thought that his architecture was sound, that he had set the whole thing rolling off in such a beautiful new direction. But he had been wrong. He had been haughty. He had not fully ascertained how deeply imbedded were the powers and principalities. And they had immediately swooped back in and misdirected what he had initiated.
It was always the same. He had been told by all the others who'd tried: It never takes.
But he still believed. He was still haughty. He was still not into this whole end-times-paroxysm sort of thing. It just wasn't what he wanted to do. It wasn't how he wanted to do it. Was not how he thought it should be done. Not all this hellfire and damnation stuff. That was so old school. He thought the world deserved another chance. He wanted another chance.
But everyone would be so pissed now if he walked.

? ? ?

"I wanted to talk to you about, you know, what all's been going on."
"Going on?"
"Yeah. You know. The show. All the preparations and stuff. The rehearsals."
"Ah, Armageddon."
"Yeah. Armageddon."
"What about it?"
"I don't want to do it."
"You don't want to do it?"
"Yeah. I don't want to do it."
"What do you mean, you don't want to do it?"
"I don't want to do it."
"You said that. What do you mean?"
"I mean I don't want to do it. I don't...I want another chance. I want to go back again."
"Go back again. What do you think Armageddon is?"
"I know, but I don't mean like that. Not all the violence and stuff. I want to go back and try again. Like before. Only different."
"Mmmm. You want to go back again. Back down?"
"Well...I, uhh...That's very interesting."
"Thank you."
"So, you want to go back again, huh?"
"Because...Because I screwed it all up last time."
"Screwed it all up?"
"Come on, Dad. You saw how things went."
"It was a train wreck, a mess. I mean, they ended up killing me."
"And that was not the point?"
"Well, yeah, in a sense, but not like that. Not an execution. A sacrifice.
"I admit, you got me there. In a sense."
"And look what happened after I left."
"Come on! It's bad. They're doing all kinds of horrible things in my name. In your name. I'd like to do something about that."
"I see..."
"Don't be like that. You know I can."
"But do you?"
"Well...yeah. I think I do now. I've thought a lot about it. I've learned some things, stumbled across some realizations. I think I know what went wrong last time."
"And what was that?"
"I knew who I was. I wasn't one of them."
"It's true. All along I knew who I was. I knew what was going on, what my purpose was, where I had come from, where I was going. I even knew how I would get there. Every step of the way. None of them know those things. It was unfair. It set me apart. I could never truly be one of them, so long as I knew who I was. And wasn't that really the whole point? To know what it is to be one of them?"
"Got me again, kid. You're getting pretty smart for your age."
"I have only you to thank for that."
"I can see you've thought this out."
"I have."
"That's admirable."
"Thank you. Again, your doing."
"Well, you can accept most of the credit yourself."
"So...You want to go back down. That means calling the whole thing off. The whole show."
"So? Do it. It's your choice, your show. Who else would it be up to?"
"You're serious!"
"So you mean I can do it!"
"I can?"
"I can. Oh thanks, Dad. You don't know what this means to me. It means everything. You're gonna be proud. You'll see. You're gonna be so proud of me."
"Son, I'm already most proud of you."
"I know, but...You're gonna be really proud of me."
"Okay, thanks."
"No problem."
"So who's going to tell them all?"
"You are."
"Yeah, you."
"Whew. Okay. Me."

? ? ?

The next day, when Jesus came out on stage for rehearsals, he wasn't all dressed up in his costume. He looked like he normally looked. "Everybody?" he said, raising his hands and holding them out before him, palms down to the stage floor. "Listen," he went on when he had everyone's attention, "I'm sorry to have to do this to all of you, but...I'm calling this whole thing off." He had expected pandemonium to break out at this point, but was surprised in that it did not. He went on, tentative at first. "It's just not what I want to do, you guys. It's not how I want it all to go. The violence, you know? I'm just not into it any more. Never really was. It's my fault if I misled you, but the violence was really all you all's trip in the first place. It was never really my cup of tea. I just sort of went along. I apologize. It was wrong of me. It was weak. I apologize. Thing is, I'm going to go back down. I'm going to do it again. I need to." He had begun to pace the stage as he spoke. "I need to prove to myself that I can do it right this time, not screw it up again. I know you all had a lot of high hopes for this event, but...It's just not do-able. Not this way. Because of who I am. Because I love. Where is the love in all this, all this violence we are rehearsing for? I ask you, where is the love in this?"
He gazed out at the host all around him, and saw not understanding, but blank, stony faces staring back at him. They were angry. Disappointed. They had wanted their retribution. Many of them saw themselves as martyrs to his own name. All had suffered greatly. Jesus realized they deserved more. At least as much as the world did. "Listen, all of you," he said, raising his voice to be heard over a rising din of voices that was not there. "I do this not only for myself, but also for you. Your redemption, the repudiation of your suffering, will only be brought about through love. Not pain, nor vengeance, nor more suffering. Believe me. This is the way it must go on. The only way it can."
There were no cheers. No applause. No nods of recognition. Only pained silence.
"I'm sorry," Jesus said for the third time. "You can all go back to what you were doing. The Armageddon is off."

? ? ?

a communication intercepted between two Agents in the Field:

"Hey, you hear what the kid did?"
"No, what?"
"He called it off."
"Called what off?"
"The whole thing. The show. Armageddon."
"Yeah, Armageddon."
"Man, I can't believe that shit."
"No shit."
"Where'd you hear this?"
"Michael told me. He can't, fucking, believe it either."
"Yeah, damn."
"Jesus. Called off Armageddon. Who would've believed that?"
"I never would've. Not in a million years."
"So what's the deal with us then?"
"Who knows? Nobody knows. Or they're not saying. Michael says the kid's coming down."
"Down here? Again?"
"Yeah. Gonna give it another go round."
"Another go round. What do you mean?"
"Coming back down. Giving it another spin."
"What are you talking about? Speak clearly."
"He's coming back down again, But not with the host. Not with his army. He won't be coming back with a vengeance, like we all believed. He's going to come back as a man again. Like the last time. Michael said he said something about doing it right this time."
"Wow. That I never would've believed."
"Michael said he was all going on about love again."
"Oh, man. Not that."
"So who's in charge now, of the Operation? Is there still an Operation?"
"Oh, everything's still the same. Nothing's changed. Except the kid'll be down here now. Apparently it aint going to be exactly the same as the last time. He's going to be wearing a disguise this time."
"A disguise? The kid? What kind of a disguise could they conjure up for him?"
"I don't know. Michael didn't say. Whatever it is, it'll disguise himself from himself, too, not just all of them. He won't know who he is, much less any of us."
"But we'll know who he is. Michael's going to make sure of that. It'll be our job to keep him safe, make sure nothing bad happens to him. You savvy?"
"Oh, yeah. I savvy. We keep him as safe as a baby in his mother's arms."
"Yeah, you got it."
"Yeah, I got it."

? ? ?

"Yes, Mother."
"I've been meaning to talk with you. About what all you've got going."
"I wondered if you'd considered the role of prophecy in what it is you intend, what you've decided."
"Prophecy? You, Mother?"
"I know. Not really known for being into all that, am I? It's always really been more your father's gig than mine, but, I just wonder. I don't see any prophecy leading up to this. Do you?"
"But, Mom, that's so the point, don't you get it? Prophecy doesn't reflect love very much, does it? When you think about it, it's all about retribution and vengeance and paying back, getting back at, you know? All that doom and gloom, balancing of scales sort of stuff. And because of that, prophecy itself has produced a somewhat unbalanced system, wouldn't you say?"
"That's a somewhat astute observation, I'd say."
"Well, it's just how I see it, is all. No biggy."
"Still, I see what you mean. Prophecy speaks very little, if at all of love. It never has had much to say on the subject."
"That's right. It's all been about paying back for wrong, taking back what's mine. You know, stuff we think is evil. Love has never taken a central role. Not in prophecy. But now, down there, people are even saying God is love. Love has taken a much more central role in life. And prophecy? Prophecy is no longer even written, much less heeded. Maybe for a reason. You and I know God is love, but you'd have a hard time gleaning that from prophecy. Get it?"
"Yes, I get it. So what is it you plan to do?"
"Well...I'm going to go down there and love, basically. I'm talking find a woman, get married, have kids, raise a family, do the whole bit, the whole thing, the real deal. Be a real man."
"Hmm. Get married?"
"Uh, huh."
"Have offspring?"
"Live like they all do?"
"That's the idea."
"Well, it just sounds dangerous. Foolish. Why would you want to do this?"
"Because of love, Mom. Because I love. Because that's what love is: what love does."
"It worries me. You won't know who you are."
"I know."
"You won't be able to reach us."
"I know."
"We could reach you, of course, but you won't want us to. None of them do."
"Some do, Mom."
"Well, maybe some. A very few."
"That's because they're afraid, Mom. Afraid of Dad, of me, some even of you. People are afraid. We both know that's just wrong. We're nothing to be afraid of. They need to know that."
"Or you need for them to know that?"
"Oh come on, Mom. You know I'm not that way. I practically have no ego."
"I wouldn't go so far. You are humble, but you have an ego."
"Well, not much of one. I just see all kinds of people down there. Unhappy people. People who say, no, they don't believe in God, but if you sat down and talked to them for awhile, you'd see that they do. They're just afraid to call it that. Because they have been trained to fear their own belief. That really bothers me. I find it quite disturbing. Remember when I flipped out and tore apart the outer court of the temple? I feel almost like that. I greatly want to address the situation. Do something about it. Rectify it. You know what a rectifier is? It's something that changes something, something that is unsuitable, into something suitable, ready for your use, your aid. It converts what you don't want or need, into what you do want and need. I'm to be a rectifier, Mom. That's all."
"Son, I don't know what to say. The way you say it, it sounds reasonable, but if you go down there the way you're talking about, as one of them, you're going to do wrong. You'll lie, cheat, steal. You may have to kill. You're talking about having sex. With a woman."
"I know, I know. I'll have to. I'll want to. Anything less would be so totally missing the point. I'll have to be just like any one of them for it to work. I'll have to be one of them. In body and soul. All human. Nobody's ever done it like that, have they?"
"None who've ever come back."
"None of us have ever gone down that way. We've always been afraid we'd lose our way, wouldn't be able to get back. Why aren't you?"
"Love, Mom. Love. I could never lose my way back to you. Love will bring me back in the end. Love can never go entirely wrong. Not at it's core, you know.?"
"How do you know all this?"
"I'm not really thirteen, Mom. You guys just keep me that way. I've been around for a long, long time. I've picked up a few things.?
"I know. I forget how old you really are. That's my love for you."
"I know, Mom. It's why I love you, too. Seriously, though...I want to get started soon. I'm antsy. I just feel like it can work. If I do it right. Between one man and one woman, that final battle everyone's so let down to be missing will be played out in full. If they can somehow manage to make it through together, if love can finally, truly, not conquer, but satisfy all, then everything can be saved. I think that's worth the risk. Don't you?"
"It is a risk, Son. A greater one than you know. You not only may kill, you may be killed."
"Mom!...I was killed the last time I was down there. This time it is my intention to live. And to keep living as long as I can. Like they all do. I intend to strive. Strive to thrive. I intend to have a life. A full, rich one filled with hope, longing, loss, suffering, joy and sorrow, and most of all, love. I intend to go down and practice love."
"None could aspire to anything more, my son. None in heaven or on earth. None anywhere that I know of."

? ? ?

"So let me get this straight," said the dispensary sergeant from behind the orders he held close to his face, obscuring it from view. "These pretty much say to make you a normal person. All of the basic attributes. None of the special attributes. He moved the flimsy order sheet even closer to his face, if that were possible, and went on, "Except these four: ARF," (alignment recognition factor), "CTI," (cognition of truth index), "PDQ," (protection from deception quotient) "and LMI," (lineal memory index). The sergeant lowered the flimsy sheet to his side and smiled at the young man standing before him. "Those I can understand. Most of you want something along those lines when going down. Gotta have something to tell you what from what down there. It's what you don't want that I don't get. You want none of the usual tricks. You don't want to be able to make fire come out of your mouth. You don't want to be able to smite things with your words. You don't want the power to make everyone love you. You're not interested in attracting wealth. You pretty much are going to be a normal person." He stared with blank incredulity for a moment, then brought the flimsy back up before his face, blocking it once again. "And if that wasn't weird enough, this last is the real kicker. You want a cloak of anonymity; you'll be practically invisible to pretty much everyone around you. Not too unusual. Sometimes they want that. Usually only for brief visits, though. It's just this other thing. You want the cloak turned not only outward, but also inward." He dropped the orders to his side again. He looked almost gleeful, giddy, as he finished, "On yourself!" He actually did smile when he went on. "You'll have no idea who you are."
"That's right sergeant. That's entirely the point. You have read the mission plan."
"Yeah, I read it," the sergeant said without a trace of sullenness. "One of the few who have." Then he straightened up a little, said, "Okay, this is no problem. You got some of your numbers off a little though. You don't need these things turned up so high as you got'em. Not anymore. I've made a few modifications to the equipment since the last time we did this. They're not reflected in the original specs. I can do things now with much more subtlety. I can make it so that these things only come upon you when it's necessary. Otherwise they can be buried. You will, effectively, be a normal person, until extra-normal circumstances present themselves. Then, your extra-normal abilities can present themselves. Work great to get you out of a jam." He'd been darting his gaze back and forth between the young man before him and the orders in his hand as he spoke. Now he stared straight at the kid and beamed his achievement toward him. "Wanna try it?" The sergeant was clearly not the least bit intimidated or afraid. Jesus like that. He warmed to him immediately. Here was someone he could work with. "How do we do this?" he inquired.
"We don't do anything," the sergeant replied, turning toward his apparatus. "I do things. I tweak stuff. You just tell me what you want done. Hence these." He turned back toward the kid and waved the flimsy sheet around near his shoulder, then turned back to his works and went on. "Yeah, this is going to be fun. You're in for quite a ride. I gotta respect you for the way you're choosing to go here. It aint gonna be easy on you. Not by a long shot." With that, he began to fiddle with things, apparently doing the "tweaking" he had alluded to. "That place," he began, his voice losing volume as he worked, "I'd never go down there. Any way you go, it aint no picnic. And you're making me make it even worse on you." He turned and looked over his shoulder at the subject of his labors. "You're aware of that aren't you." Jesus cast him a penetrating gaze in answer. "I hope so," the sergeant breathed, turning back to his work. "I truly hope so. It is not going to be easy." He stopped fidgeting and turned to face Jesus once more. "There," he stated with humble curtness. "That's got it." A twinkle floated into his eye as he asked sweetly, "When might you like to be going?"
Jesus was ready at that moment. The concept of good-bye didn't even occur to him. He didn't see himself as going away. If anything, he saw himself as going on. Like going from side-stage to out on stage. He would never really be apart from those he loved, and who loved him. Just incommunicado. "I'm ready now," he said flatly. "Let's do it. Where do I stand?"
"Right where you are," replied the sergeant, gleaming.
"Is there a button you push or something?"
"Not me. You."
"Where is it?"
"Right here," the sergeant said smoothly, reaching out one long finger to touch Jesus in the very center of his forehead. "On the inside."
A startled look of comprehension crossed Jesus's face before his form faded from the sergeant's presence.

Peace & Love,
PS: Cancel my subscription to The Resurrection.
The DOORS, When the Music's Over.
PPS: In Jim Morrison's day, The Resurrection was a magazine published by the Seventh Day Adventists.

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Post by mnaz » March 8th, 2010, 6:15 pm

Finally got around to reading this one, Barry. Well done. Maybe you should post it on the Creative board. Yes, the second coming is an internal affair; seems simple enough to me. Good stuff.

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Post by Barry » April 13th, 2010, 8:11 pm

Thanks, Marc. Glad you are here now.


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